For Immediate Release:
February 11, 2013
The death of Lolong is tragic but, sadly, not surprising. While the exact cause of Lolong’s death is still being investigated, scientific studies have shown that captive animals die younger than their wild counterparts. Lolong suffered and died because people wanted to make money off his captivity.
Lolong spent his last 18 months alone in a concrete pen, instead of in the Agusan Marsh, where he belongs. Crocodiles are fascinating animals with complex and multifaceted lives. They communicate using aural, visual, tactile, and olfactory cues, and their courtship rituals include body postures reinforced with odor from paired musk glands. They are nocturnal and, in their natural homes, feed primarily at night. Crocodiles shun contact with humans, and captive crocodiles like Lolong never become “tame.”
No zoo can come close to providing what even small crocodiles need, much less a crocodile the size of Lolong. Crocodiles are hardwired to roam freely, seek out mates, and hunt for food. These genetic imperatives are compelling, and the way that they are fulfilled in the wild cannot be replicated in captivity. When you consider the immense size and strength of Lolong, there is no doubt that being contained in a cramped enclosure caused him extreme distress and misery.
PETA hopes that this incident will motivate the government to move away from capturing animals from the wild in order to keep them locked in cages and specifically look at the case of Mali, who has already been accepted into a sanctuary where her life expectancy and happiness can be increased but has yet to be allowed to move.